With the third phase of offseason workouts now underway, the New England Patriots held their first of their organized team activities on Monday. While those OTA sessions are meant as a learning exercise and take place without full pads or live tackling, they still give players their most extensive opportunity to get used to the system and the team as a whole before mandatory minicamp takes place next month.
Despite those sessions being voluntary, the Patriots traditionally have good attendance. While judging it from afar is a difficult and incomplete exercise — media access is restricted and most practices are closed to non-team spectators — the club did provide a behind-the-scenes look on Monday night by sharing 50 photos from the first session on its website.
Based on those, we can do a first rundown of the players present at this year’s OTAs. So, let’s dive in.
WR Nelson Agholor, C David Andrews, TE Devin Asiasi, WR Kendrick Bourne, OT Korey Cunningham, RB Tyler Gaffney, TE Hunter Henry, QB Brian Hoyer, QB Mac Jones, C Ted Karras, TE Matt LaCosse, C Marcus Martin, WR Jakobi Meyers, QB Cam Newton, WR Tre Nixon, G Alex Redmond, WR Matthew Slater, WR Devin Smith, QB Jarrett Stidham, FB Danny Vitale, WR Isaiah Zuber
While around half of the offensive players currently under contract were not spotted, that does obviously not mean that have chosen to sit OTAs out this year. After all, the basis of this rundown, as noted above, is the photos shared by the club. There is a chance that players such as Isaiah Wynn, Trent Brown or N’Keal Harry have participated — they just were not seen on any of the photos.
Of those that definitely were present, the quarterbacks and offseason acquisitions stand out. The QBs are led by incumbent starter Cam Newton as well as first-round rookie Mac Jones, while free agency signees Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry were also present for the session.
DT Montravius Adams, LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, DE Rashod Berry, CB Justin Bethel, CB Myles Bryant, S Adrian Colbert, DT Byron Cowart, S Kyle Dugger, DT Davon Godchaux, LB Terez Hall, CB J.C. Jackson, CB Jonathan Jones, LB Cameron McGrone, LB Raekwon McMillan, DB Jalen Mills, DT Bill Murray, DE Ronnie Perkins, DT Akeem Spence, DT Nick Thurman, LB Josh Uche, CB Dee Virgin, CB Joejuan Williams, LB Chase Winovich, DE Deatrich Wise Jr.
Even though some prominent members of the Patriots defense were not spotted — Dont’a Hightower, Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty and Lawrence Guy among them — attendance was still solid overall: 24 different players were identifiable on the photos provided by the Patriots.
That group includes offseason additions Jalen Mills, Davon Godchaux, Ronnie Perkins and Cameron McGrone. Also among them was second-year safety Kyle Dugger, wearing his new No. 23 jersey.
Special teams (3)
K Roberto Aguayo, LS Joe Cardona, LS Wes Farnsworth
New England currently has three place kickers, two long snappers and one punter under contract, but only three of those six were seen on the Patriots’ photos: Roberto Aguayo, Joe Cardona and Wes Farnsworth were present, even though just one of them — Cardona — can be considered a lock to make the 53-man squad this fall.
As for the players not spotted on Monday, there are still plenty of other opportunities to show up either on the practice fields if they were indeed absent or at the very least the photos shared by the team: New England will hold two more OTA sessions this week, with seven more following next month.